Dominion Virginia Power is using parts of Arlington and three other Northern Virginia localities as an urban testing ground for its new smart meter system.
The company plans to install 32,000 advanced digital meters in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County and Falls Church by the end of the year. Of the 32,000 meters in Northern Virginia, more than 19,000 will be installed in Arlington, according to Dominion spokesperson Le-Ha Anderson.
Unlike traditional meters, which must be read via on-site inspection or drive-by reading, the smart meters are capable of remote, two-way communication with Dominion’s control centers.
Dominion says that power usage data from the new meters will allow the company to improve its efficiency and conserve energy.
The new meters will also be able to communicate information about power outages, and will allow the company to shut off power to individual homes remotely.
More than 56,000 smart meters are currently being tested in the hilly and rural environs of Charlottesville and Midlothian.